White Sox Minor Keys: May 12, 2018

The Intimidators don't need the help of a small ballpark, but they took advantage of Asheville just the same Saturday

In the South Atlantic League, Intimidators Stadium offers a pretty level playing field for pitchers and hitters. It’s not the easiest park for home runs, and that drags its offensive tendencies a little below average, but the final scores are fair.

Asheville’s McCormick Field is always at the top of the lists for offense, and having watched the Intimidators beat the Tourists there 11-8 Saturday night, I understood why: It’s an incredibly small park.

From left to right:

  • Left field line: 326
  • Left center: 370

OK, that’s about average. But keep going:

  • Center field: 373
  • Right center: 320
  • Right field line: 297

There’s a 36-foot high wall in right field in an attempt to make it slightly more difficult to hit it out, but with a power alley shallower than many big-league foul poles, all it does is turn deepish flyouts into doubles. I saw at least two of those on Saturday, and Laz Rivera’s homer probably would’ve been a double in most parks, too. Luis Gonzalez’s leadoff home run cleared the 373 sign with plenty of room to spare, so I feel a little more confident about that one.

These dimensions are why the Tourists have led the Sally League in OPS the last seven seasons. With this history, it’s pretty impressive what the Intimidators have done so far at the plate this year:

  1. Kannapoliss, .763 OPS
  2. Columbia, .742
  3. Delmarva, .735
  4. Greensboro, .731
  5. Asheville, .730

Durham 10, Charlotte 3

  • Charlie Tilson went 0-for-4.
  • Eddy Alvarez, 0-for-4 with a K.
  • Casey Gillaspie was 3-for-4 with a double.
  • Thyago Vieira: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP

Birmingham 5, Mobile 3

  • Eloy Jimenez (one K) and Zack Collins (two K’s) were both 0-for-5.
  • Seby Zavala went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Matt Rose was 2-for-3 with a homer, double and walk.
  • Jameson Fisher doubled, singled twice and struck out once.
  • Dane Dunning: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 50 of 89 pitches for strikes.
  • Ryan Burr: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Ian Hamilton: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K

Down East 7, Winston-Salem 5

  • Joel Booker went 0-for-4 with a walk.
  • Alex Call, 3-for-5 with a double.
  • Luis Alexander Basabe was 2-for-5 with a strikeout and a stolen base.
  • MIcker Adolfo was 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Yermin Mercedes, 1-for-3 with a double and two walks.
  • Yeyson Yrizarri went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes hit his first homer, singled and struck out twice.

Kannapolis 11, Asheville 8

  • Luis Gonzalez went 2-for-6 with a homer, double and two strikeouts.
  • Evan Skoug was 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Justin Yurchak, 3-for-5 with a strikeout, and was caught stealing trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt.
  • Carlos Perez went 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Tyler Johnson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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MrTopaz

Vieira’s on a nice little stretch.

ParisSox

And Hamilton’s numbers are ridiculous.   Looking forward to seeing him in Chicago later this year.   

dickschr

Jim:

Do you not consider Rivera and Villa prospects?

dickschr

Thank you

sgp2204

Rivera put up good numbers in rookie ball right after getting drafted, and he has improved on those with his promotion to A-ball. While he is a little old compared to the competition (AgeDif of 1.6), it’s not like he’s repeating the level. I’d expect him and Gonzalez to get bumped up in the near future.

Quite frankly, I’m not too sure why some of these promotions haven’t happened already. Signing Giavotella was a waste of time. They should’ve just bumped up Mitch Roman (.301/.393/.419), which would’ve also opened an infield spot on the High-A team for Rivera.

Flitcraft

Danny Mendick doing what he needs to do at the plate as a twenty-four y/o 22nd rounder in his first full season at Double-A. Compare his two stints with the Barons:

2017: 165 PA, .197/.280/.293, 68 wRC+
2018: 113 PA, .290/.354/.530, 144 wRC+

Walk and whiff rates roughly in line with what he’s done before, but his .240 ISO is miles better than his previous career high (.179) posted last year with the Dash before his promotion to Birmingham. And that .530 SLG seems like the bishop golfing with Carl Spackler in a thunderstorm.

That said, easily the best offensive results of Mendick’s pro career. Good for him.

Probables: Roach, Adams, Flores, McClure

Flitcraft

Tito Polo to 10 day DL with, to my knowledge, the specific injury still unannounced. Also, Sox sign Johnny Giavotella to minor league deal, assign him to Birmingham.

Brett R. Bobysud

After a slow start in which only 2 hitters (Zavala & Michalczewski) were putting up good offensive #s, the Barons lineup has had a nice turnaround in the last 2 weeks or so, despite Zavala hitting a bit of a cold spell around the same time.

At the moment, they have 6 players with an OPS greater than 800:

Jimenez (.975)
Zavala (.891)
Collins (.879)
Mendick (.851)
Robbins (.850)
Rose (.819)

2 more players are hitting greater than .280 (the aforementioned Michalczewski & Ryan Brett).

As of last night’s games, the Barons lineup currently features the 3 highest HR totals in the Southern League: Zavala (9), Jimenez (7), Rose (7).

They also have hit more HRs as a team than any other in the league (44), have the highest SLG % in the league (.427), as well as the 3rd highest batting average (.251) and the 2nd highest OPS (.754).

Brett R. Bobysud

If you want better offensive #s, look no further than the Winston-Salem lineup.

7 Dash players are currently hitting .280 or better:

Adolfo (.323)
Rutherford (.317)
Roman (.300)
Booker (.298)
Sheets (.295)
Remillard (.294)
Basabe (.281)

In addition, Alex Call, despite hitting “only” .269, has an OPS of .831.

The Dash lead the Carolina League in SLG % (.444), sit 2nd in team AVG (.282), OBP (.362), and OPS (.805), and are 3rd in team HRs (30).

And oh by the way, Luis Robert hasn’t played a game for the Dash yet.

sgp2204

Call has been absolutely killing it after a rough start. He was 1 for 14 to start the year, but since then, he has a slash line of .300/.402/.511 with a BB/K of 16/20 in his last 108 plate appearances. His May slash line is .351/.442/.676 with 6 walks and 7 K’s in 43 plate appearances. 

There are quite a few guys in A through AA ball that deserve promotions, and there a quite a few guys in AAA that shouldn’t have jobs. The roster shuffling should begin soon (I hope). 

sgp2204

Scratch that. Those numbers were before tonight’s game where he went 2-4 with a homer, double, BB, and K. 

He’s now up to .278/.388/.491 on the season and .366/.458/.756 in May. Fantastic month. 

Brett R. Bobysud

Also, Jordan Stephens was promoted from Birmingham to Charlotte this morning. Matt Tomshaw went the other direction to make room.

Stephens has probably been the best starter in Birmingham so far, so this is well-deserved. With him gone, the best starter for the Barons at the moment, might very well be Dane Dunning.

Greg Nix

Stephens is a guy I’d like to see in Chicago as soon as possible. Coming from the pitcher-shredder at Rice, and with a TJ surgery and subsequent elbow tendinitis on his resume, seems like he probably has a limited number of bullets in the gun. Might as well use them to make 2018 more watchable.

Eagle Bones

Wonder if they’ll let him keep starting until he fails? The book on him seemed to be probable reliever (though maybe good one). I guess if the ML rotation racks up enough injuries and/or guys keep struggling, maybe they give him a shot in the rotation before moving him to the pen.

Eagle Bones

Good to see the promotions start (this one should have happened before the season). Looking for a couple more over the next month or two (Jimenez to Charlotte, couple of the WS OFs to Birmingham; Henzman and McClure to WS).

Greg Nix

Not that the specific numbers really matter, but the prospect lists are about to become incrementally more fun to look at. Ohtani just graduated from rookie status. Acuna and Torres will likely follow soon. So MLB Pipeline will have Jimenez at #2 and Kopech at #7.

gusguyman

Rutherford and Dunning should climb (or re-claim spots in) the top 100 rankings too, and maybe Basabe will even show up if he keeps this up until mid-season

chisoxfanboy

Agreed. One has to figure that Kopech, Eloy, Dunning, Robert, and Cease will be up there along with potentially Basabe, Adolfo, Rutherford, Zavala, and Hansen.

I’m excited to see some bullpen arms move up soon. Some relievers are deserving of a new challenge:
AAA – Gomez, Cedeno
AA – Hamilton, Burr
A+ – Foster, Kubat
A- – Johnson, Lewis, Elliot

Anyone have a prospect profile on Battenfield? Guy’s age appropriate and getting results beyond better considered McClure and Henzman.

Eagle Bones

Will be interesting to see what they do with the pen. Gomez and Cedeno could probably help, but are they really worth spending a 40 man spot on (especially Cedeno with three lefties on the active roster already). On the other hand, fringe guys like Vieira, Hamilton and even Danish look kind of interesting. Might be more worth their time to give those guys a look.

chisoxfanboy

Agreed.
Would much rather use a spot on Gomez and Cedeno instead of Beck and Infante, however. Could also free up a spot in a few weeks by maybe flipping a Bruce Rondon, though it is a bit early still.

sgp2204

Flipping Rondon would be a mistake. He hasn’t built up enough value to get anything good back. I’d give Coop more time with him. He’s still pretty young and cheap for a few more years.